Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Guess He Still Doesn't Understand How These Internets Work

Apparently John McCain is unfamiliar with YouTube and how the things you say yesterday are still around today. For Example, he thinks he can lie today...

...about what he said yesterday (approx. 2:28 into the clip)...

...and no one will ever find out. Senator, this isn't like when you were one of the Keating Five and went about lying Willy-Nilly. You will be caught when you lie. You are a liar sir, and not a very good one at that.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Action Comics #369

Action Comics #369 (On Sale: September 26, 1968) has a cover by Curt Swan and Jack Abel.

We begin with "Superman's Greatest Blunder" by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Continuing from last issue, Superman has exiled himself to a world with a red sun after a group called the Sentinels have eliminated crime and disasters on Earth. Without his powers Superman becomes hungry and eats some local fruit. He is arrested by the local authorities because the fruit was reserved for the planet's king. Superman is to be executed for his crime, but his powers return. The red sun is actually half yellow, which allows him to escape the planet.

Superman returns to Earth and becomes suspicious about the motives of the Sentinels. When he sees one attempting to seal his Fortress with the inhabitants of Kandor trapped inside, Superman suspects that the Sentinels plan to conquer Earth. He then proceeds to destroy them after realizing they aren't alive. After all the Sentinels are destroyed Superman learns that he was wrong and they actually were benevolent. Because of Superman actions, crime and disaster has now returned to Earth.

The Supergirl storiung is "The Boy Who Broke Supergirl's Heart" by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. Linda Danvers consoles her friend Claire Valton when she is jilted by campus playboy Gary Sparks. Linda tries to get revenge on Gary by dating him, then dumping him. However, before she can finish executing her plan, Gary has already started dating another girl. Though she is upset with Gary, Linda can't stop thinking about him and decides to try winning him over as Supergirl.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Timing Is Everything!

So yesterday the people at the Residence Inn I am staying at left a note on the desk inside the room. It said:

Dear Valued Guest,

We hope that you are enjoying your home away from home! We would like to inform you that we will be performing maintenance upgrades this week. We will be replacing the lock on the entry door of your suite.
Nice to know. Better if they had left the note BEFORE they changed the locks.

I Smell a Rat

Am I the only one who thinks it is a little bit fishy that we have this huge financial crisis just as Bush and his thugs are about to escape to South America? They are cleaning out the coffers my friends, taking the last of your and my money and heading for the border. I'm not buying any of this, but the congressional Democrats already have and our future is about to be $700 billion poorer for it. When was the last time Bush ever told the truth about anything? Think about it! We are being scammed.

Update! I'm not the only one eying this with great suspicion.

Witchcraft Free Since 2005

Apparently witchcraft is a big problem in Alaska. Who knew?

And what is Bill Gates doing there?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Strange Adventures #215

Strange Adventures #215 (On Sale: September 24, 1968) has a beautiful cover by Neal Adams. This is the second Deadman cover where our hero is depicted as a disembodies head superimposed over the action of the cover. Within a year Adams would perfect this style of cover on the revised Phantom Stranger book.

"A New Lease on Death" is written and drawn by Neal Adams. Neal really moves the basic plot line of the series forward with this issue, moving towards a redesign of the strip's premise. Continuing from last issue, Deadman tracks assassin Willie Smith to Hong Kong where he receives a new assignment. Deadman learns that the target is his own killer, Hook. Willie catches Hook and brings him before a Society of Assassins for which both killers work.

The leader of the assassins known as the Sensei accuses Hook of failing in his initiation assignment, the murder of Boston Brand. The killers believe Boston is still alive since Cleveland Brand has taken his brother's place at the circus.

Sensei then orders Hook's death. Deadman tries to intervene by taking control of Willie's body. However, the Sensei is able to defeat him and is immune to Dead man's powers of possession. Hook is killed and left behind, while the Sensei and the others leave. Deadman is contacted by Rama Kushna, but he feels no satisfaction in the fact that his killer is dead. Reprinted in Deadman #6.

The back-up story is "The Incredible Mutated Man" drawn by John Giunta. Since Giunta had not drawn anything for DC in five years I assume this is a reprint, but I don't know from where.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Rachel Maddow

I've like Rachel since I first heard her on Air America. Sam Boyd over at American Prospect does a pretty good piece on her here, an in-depth analysis of her style, how it differs from other liberal hosts and why it seems to be working so well. Well worth a look.

American Priorities

The economy is about to completely collapse (if you believe Bush and Paulson), congress is about to give away our future to the tune of $700 billion dollars and three of the ten most viewed stories on Yahoo News today are:

Clay Aiken is gay.

Lindsay Lohan is gay.

Nicole Kidman said swimming in Australian Outback waterfalls help make her pregnant.

And we wonder how we got into this economic problem.

Hell-Bent on Parody

I had to share this because the Republicans are "hell-bent" on destroying this democracy and I can see Hollywood from my back yard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Alter on McCain

Jonathan Alter from Countdown...

[Y]ou remember the Keating Five scandal that he was a part of, which, by the way, it's crazy but there's been very little about it in the press in the last few weeks. And McCain thinks he's getting a hard time, he's really getting a free ride on the fact that he was in the middle of the last great financial scandal in our country. But his reaction to that, you would have thought, would have been more regulation of the financial services industry. Instead he moved forward on campaign finance reform after being caught in that scandal, but did nothing - nothing - to try to prevent another savings and loan crisis from happening down the road. He was missing in action when it came to even learning the basic lessons of a scandal that he said taught him all kinds of things that he would never forget.

Taken For Granted

Time Magazine has an informative piece on the MacArthur Fellowship. This year's batch of new "Fellows" includes stage lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, geriatrician Diane Meier and urban farmer Will Allen. I first learned of the MacArthur grants when reading of Richard Stallman in the book Hackers. Stallman wrote GNU Unix and created the GNU license agreement among other pieces of technology.

Be Quiet and Drink Your Rocket Fuel!

According to USA Today...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there's no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the country.

EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.

The EPA document says that mandating a clean-up level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."

Dear American:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully,
Minister of Treasury Paulson

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Selling Short

Now I don't know a whole hell of a lot about economics, which means I know about as much as John McCain, but I have always thought that the idea of selling a stock short was outside of the basic purpose of the stock market. Borrowing stock now in order to sell it high and pay for it later at a lower price doesn't sound like "financing American growth;" it sounds like betting on the COME line in craps, i.e., I'm betting you are going to fail. It sounds like gambling with an upside only for the person taking the gamble, and no upside for the company whose stock is being gambled with.

Am I missing something here (I'm sure I am)?

Cactus Beer

I've mentioned a few beers here before that I like to drink though my preference is red wine or bourbon. Beer has too many carbs and too many calories and hell, red wine is good for you. Bourbon drinking on the other hand makes you a man!

Anyway, one beer I have to confess to really liking is Tequiza from Anheuser-Busch. It has this lime and agave cactus flavor that reminds you of the taste of tequila and lime. I could have sworn that they stopped making this beer a few years ago (and the dead tequiza.com website adds to that suspicion, only, I bought a six-pack of it last month at an Albertson's in Pomona. That was the first time I have seen Tequiza in a few years.

Since then I have been looking and can't find it anywhere else. So where are you to go to sate your beer, lime and cactus Jones? Have no fear, Tequiza may or may not be dead but Anheuser-Busch has come to the rescue with Michelob ULTRA Lime Cactus, which I discovered just this week.

ULTRA is supposed to be a low-carb beer, but ULTRA Lime Cactus has 6 carbs which is higher than a lot of the low-carb beers on the market. The lime and cactus taste is not nearly as strong as in Tequiza, so I don't find it quite as refreshing (I don't think tequila), but it does seem to be available everywhere. When you want to drink one, that becomes a big plus!

Also different is I believe Tiquiza is actually a malt liquor while the ULTRA Lime Cactus bottle says it is a Pilsner Beer. Personally I don't care; this is all about taste.

The Bloody Truth

The bloody truth: every time I went to the dentist for a cleaning I bled like a victim of the St. Valentines Day massacre. Hell, the same thing would happen every time I flossed. If you're American this happens to you too. Apparently, ten years ago this was not the case. This all brings me to my recent trip to the dentist for my simi-annual cleaning.

Now most people don't like the dentist, and I feel sort of strange admitting that I don't mind going there at all. No, I'm not the Bill Murray (or Jack Nicholson, depending on how old you are) character in Little Shop of Horrors. I don't like for a dentist to hurt me. When I lived in Taft, California we went to a dentist in Bakersfield and the dental assistant that worked on my mouth was a sadist. She hurt me like no one in a dental office ever did. I never went back.

That I would not stand for, but the gentle probing of a good dentist (I have a good dentist) feels kind of reassuring to me. That fact that it doesn't hurt that bad registers to me as "good news." No real pain, no real problem and the feeling of having my gums massaged is only a plus. But the blood! Argh! That I could live without, only on my most recent trip there was almost no bleeding at all through my full cleaning.

When it was over I asked my dentist if he noticed the lack of blood and he said he did and that a non-bleeding patient is becoming more and more of a rare occurrence. He asked me what I had done differently and and I told him.

"I always liked the feel of a firm toothbrush but it is almost impossible to find one these days. But I did find one and have been using it for about four months. I know the ADA says firm toothbrushes are bad, but I don't care. My gums have never been better." I also told him that I run my toothbrush through the dishwasher every month to sanitize it and I plan on using it till it completely falls apart.

And my dentist, much to my surprise, said I was exactly right and that the ADA is the one wrong. The ADA has run away from firm toothbrushes because they are terrified of Trimarco vs. Colgate Palmolive, an idiotic 1999 class action suit that never went anywhere, but for some reason had the ADA caving like a John McCain statement on the economy. Trimarco vs. Colgate Palmolive alleged basically that toothbrushes are "unsafe and unreasonably dangerous" and should carry package warnings on the "risks of toothbrush abrasion" as well as instruction on how to use brushes to avoid abrasion. The ADA freaked, Colgate Palmolive freaked and they pulled firm toothbrushes off the American market.

They still make firm toothbrushes, but they don't sell them in the United States, though occasionally one will slip into the U.S. market. My dentist also said that since the "ban" on firm toothbrushes, the average American mouth is a mass of soft, tender bleeding tissue. So, the next time you go to the drug store, spend a few minutes searching the toothbrushs. You might just find a firm one and if you do, grab it like the gold it is.

On my next cruise to Mexico I think I will pass on the cheap Viagra and bring home a suitcase full of firm toothbrushes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008


40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Beware the Creeper #4

Beware the Creeper #4 (On Sale: September 19, 1968) has a pretty cool cover symbolic by Steve Ditko.

"Which Face Hides My Enemy?" is by Denny O'Neil and Steve Ditko. The Creeper's search for Proteus leads him to cult leader Yogi Bizerk. However, before he can finish questioning Bizerk, the police arrive forcing the Creeper to flee.

Jack Ryder returns to his apartment where he finds a threat from Proteus. He then meets two agents from Offalia who tell him that Proteus is the former secretary of state from their country. The agents then join Ryder and his roommate Rip Cord in the search for Proteus.

Their quest first leads to a motorcycle gang called the Avenging Terrors then back to Yogi Bizerk. When the Creeper closes in on Bizerk, Sumo kills him. The Offalian agent then reveals that he knows the Creeper is Jack Ryder and that he is an agent of Proteus. A battle ensues with the Creeper ending as the victor.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Run Republicans! Run!

Over at MSNBC Keith Olbermann takes all the heat for being too liberal, but night after night it is Chris Matthews who makes the Republicans run from their record and their party. When you get a McCain spokesperson on the air and they won't even admit to voting Republican, you know you have a party in disarray and panic and Matthews is not about to let them forget that John McCain is John McCain (R).

This one is from a few nights ago, but he tore into another McCain person last night and it is sort of fun to watch them run from their own party. It is also very satisfying to see a commentator on TV who will not let the busllshit be slipped by him. Matthews asks the right question: "What person in their right mind would vote for the party that has made such a complete mess of the economy?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superman #211

Superman #211 (On Sale: September 17, 1968) has a fairly cover by Curt Swan and Jack Abel.

"You, Too, Can Be a Super-Artist" is by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Clark Kent investigates the E.M.M. art school which takes the money of students with no artist talent. He enrolls in the school and demonstrates incredible skill at duplicating the artistic style of master painters. The school administrator decides to use Clark's ability to create forgeries. Superman travels back in time to meet Rembrandt and Gainsborough so that he can duplicate their famous paintings.

Our cover story is "The Name of the Game is Superman" by Dave Wood, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Smallville optometrist Homer Ferret lures Clark Kent into a trap. He believes that Clark is Superman and relates several anecdotes that provide evidence to support his theory. He threatens to electrocute Clark if he doesn't admit the truth. If Clark doesn't admit that he is Superman, then the electricity will expose him anyway.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Real Wonder Woman Speaks

This week noted evangelical Christian and one-time Wonder Woman, Linda Carter spoke out in the pages of Philadelphia Magazine on Sarah Palin:
Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?

No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don’t be telling me what I want to do with mine.

I like John McCain. But this woman — it’s anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on — that it wasn’t to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law.

What I don’t understand, honestly, is how anyone can even begin to say they know the mind of God. Who do they think they are? I think that’s ridiculous. I know what God is in my life. Now I am sure that she’s not all just that. But it’s enough to me. It’s enough for me to have a visceral reaction. And it makes me mad.

People need to speak up. Doesn’t mean that I’m godless. Doesn’t mean that I am a murderer. What I hate is this demonization of everybody but one position. You’re un-American because you’re against the war. It’s such bullshit. Fear. It’s really such a finite way of thinking about God to think that your measly little mind can know the mind of God. It’s a very little God that way. I think that God’s bigger. I don’t presume to know his mind. Or her mind.

Palin: The New Cheney

What I find so very, I would like to say "inappropriate" but really feel the word I want to say is "disgusting," is that she takes the event of her son going off to war, to maybe die for, in my opinion, no good reason, in a war of pure choice, that we should not be at all involved in, she takes this most solemn of occasions to further perpetrate the lie that Iraq had anything at all to do with 9-11. It is absolutely shameful and so very, very disrespecting of her son. She is a political hack drawn of the same cloth as John McCain. No wonder he chose her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Showcase #78

Showcase #78 (On Sale: September 12, 1968) has very nice Johnny Double cover by Dick Giordano.

"Meet Jonny Double..." is plotted by Marv Wolfman, scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling. Down-on-his-luck private investigator Jonny Double gets a case to help Wilson Twain, a financier who has received death threats from the synicate. Jonny begins questioning underworld informants and draws the attention of the criminals. After taking a beating, Jonny traces the crooks to businessmen Piker and Glass. He is spotted snooping in their office, and the crooks try to kill him. Jonny stays alive and defeats the crooks, leaving them for Lt. Branigan his former boss on the police force.

The last five single issue debuts in Showcase resulted in five six-issue series, but Johnny Double would not be so lucky. The story I have read, and I don't remember where, is that Johnny Double was supposed to be a "Disguise Expert/Bodyguard," who would through the use of disguise become the body double of someone targeted for murder. For some reason the "Double" name was kept, but the concept was jettisoned. Four years later Len Wein would revisit that concept in The Human Target in the pages of Action Comics.

As for Johnny Double, he was a character that, for a time, would not die. He was revived in 1970 in Challengers of the Unknown #79 (an issue also featuring Deadman and a few pages drawn by Neal Adams) and then more famously went on for a stint in Wonder Woman beginning in 1972.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

More Republican Dirty Tricks

How can anyone stand to belong to a party that must resort to tricks, lies, and out and out fraud to get elected? How can you stomach these criminals?

All I Want Is The Truth

"All I Want Is The Truth"

-John Lennon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- House of Mystery #177

House of Mystery #177 (On Sale: September 10, 1968) has another beautiful cover by Neal Adams featuring those kids who can't keep out of trouble. Once again the Jack Adler coloring on this one is just beautiful.

We begin with "The Son of the Montross Monster" drawn by Mort Meskin and reprinted from House of Mystery #130. This is followed by a Room 13 page written and drawn by Joe Orlando. Next is Odds and Ends From Cain's Cellar drawn by Sergio Aragones and a text feature, "Last Meal," written by Charles King and illustrated by Joe Orlando. The cover story is next, "The Curse of the Cat," written by Anthro's Howie Post and drawn by Brother Power, The Geek's Bill Draut. We end with "Cain's Game Room" by Sergio Aragones. The entire contents is reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery #1.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Lack of Energy

I've had some not so great medical news this week and more just depressing nonsense at work this week and I am just drained and not in a good place. I will get caught up on the fun and games here when I can face the task with something resembling a clear mind. Sorry for the delay.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Brother Power, the Geek #2

Brother Power, the Geek #2 (On Sale: September 5, 1968) has a cover by the legendary Joe Simon, the creator of Brother Power. Not a bad cover this time out.

"A Visit from the Dead" is by Joe Simon though like last issue the artwork is generally credited to Al Bare and Bill Draut and Jack Oleck is considered the co-writer. As we last left Brother Power, the Geek he had driven his motorcycle off a bridge to a watery doom. As we pick up the story while fishing some kids accidentally hook a Geek. Then a guy named the Baron decides to steal Brother Power’s boots, so then he and his gang fly their homemade bi-plane to go do it.

Brother Power kicks their butts and recaps his origin. The kids get him a job in a market, where he starts as a mover and bag boy but moves up the ranks. He ends up finding work and encouraging other hippies (the group from the first issue show up) to do so, eventually getting hired by the J.P. Acme Corporation just as it was taken over by the wicked Lord Sliderule. Brother Power's ingenuity still made the assembly line run more efficiently.

Lord Sliderule launches an unmanned space missile that malfunctions and explodes and the factory is surrounded by tanks who want to destroy the Geek. Geek runs into the Baron, who has become a hippie, and has a glider crash into the tanks. Brother Power was last seen being shot into space on orders from Governor Ronald Reagan, after trying to prevent the sabotage of a rocket launch by Mad Dawg and his gang, knowing it would be blamed on hippies. yeah, it wasn't the tightest of plots.

This was the final issue of Brother Power, The Geek and it has long been regarded as one of the biggest flops in DC history. However, the demise of Brother Power, the Geek had little to do, actually, nothing to do with sales. While sales were modest, Brother Power's real problem was with some of the old-time DC staff. To be precise, Mort Weisinger.

Carmine Infantino has claimed in several interviews following his retirement that Superman editor Mort Weisinger disliked the character very strongly, and petitioned DC publisher Jack Liebowitz to shut down the title. Infantino and others who knew and worked with "Uncle Mortie" have said that Weisinger harbored an admitted dislike for the hippie subculture of the 60's, and felt that Simon portrayed them too sympathetically.

According to Joe Simon, the third issue was canceled just before the finished artwork was to be set up for print duplication, and to this day Simon refuses to discuss exactly what the plot of this issue was about, nor release any of the original art.

Would Brother Power, the Geek ever became a mainstream hit at DC? I kind of doubt it, but it certainly would have had a longer shot. Most of the books that DC killed during this time period were given a full year to make it or die; Geek never got that shot.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Wonder Woman #179

Wonder Woman #179 (On Sale: September 3, 1968) has a beautiful cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano.

"Wonder Woman’s Last Battle" is by Denny O'Neil, Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano and continues the amazing transformation of Wonder Woman. In this classic issue Wonder Woman relinquishes her powers and costume, her mentor I-Ching is introduced as is the new villain Dr. Cyber. As the cover says, "Goodbye to the Past!"

Continuing from last issue, Steve Trevor undertakes a mission to infiltrate the organization of high powered criminal Doctor Cyber. To do so, he is labeled a traitor by his own government. Wonder Woman wants to help Steve, but her mother informs her that the Amazons and Paradise Island must leave Earth's dimension to renew their magical powers. Wonder Woman elects to stay behind, but she must give up her powers and costume.

Wonder Woman returns to America as the powerless Diana Prince. Without the support of her Amazon heritage, Diana must seek a new career. She rents a storefront and soon meets I-Ching, a blind Asian master of martial arts. Ching trains Diana in hand-to-hand combat to take on Doctor Cyber.

Diana finally finds Steve Trevor who has been critically injured. While Steve is hospitalized, she and Ching stop a plot by Cyber's gang to use deadly toys against the families of America's leaders. Reprinted in Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Don't you just love these Christians? How ironic that Hurricane Gustav is now threatening to swamp their own convention and bring to millions memories of Katrina and how uncaring and incompetent Republicans really are. Perhaps these so-called Christian Republicans should listen to what their god is trying to tell them.