Wednesday, June 30, 2004

While working today on the publicity blitz for the below-mentioned Painters of Blight show, I got the bright idea to conduct a web search to see just far we've spun onto the web.

8 results shown out of a total of 12. But since I have the kind of name that everyone else has, it's nice to find some hits that are directly related to me, without risking -- and 99 times out of one hundred experiencing -- the disappointment of reading about how a bearded middle-age humonculous is trading on my name to sell real estate in Canton, Ohio.

So, it's nice to read someone like Jeliza say ours was the "most intruiging call for entry I've seen lately."

Jim Blanchard
Men's Adventures in the Land of Light

Curated by Erin Norlin, David Miller and Kipling West
Two Night Only! Friday July 9 and Saturday July 10
Opening Reception: Friday, July 9, 6:00 - 10:00 pm
Saturday hours 2-6

Roq la Rue Gallery ~ 2316 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

For two days only, Painters of Blight will occupy Roq la Rue Gallery, featuring two dozen artists paying tribute to the work of Thomas Kinkade and Jack T. Chick. Don't blink and miss it!

Renowned and beloved as the "Painter of Light," Thomas Kinkade is America's best-selling fine artist. One who purchases a reproduction of one of Mr. Kinkade's paintings may elect to have their purchase brought to life by a Kinkade-trained Master Highlighter, who adds color and definition with oil paint, truly bringing the lithographs to "light." In that spirit, artists Jim Blanchard, Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley, Robert Hardgrave, Claire Johnson, Charles Krafft, Pat Moriarity, Erin Norlin, Marion Peck, Benton Peugh, Robert Rini, Bonni Reid, Mark Ryden and Kipling West have highlighted pages from the Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light® with Scripture: 2004 Deluxe Wall Calendar, in their own distinct styles.

Jack T. Chick is one of the most prolific Christian evangelists in America, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and bad news of eternal damnation though 3" x 5", 24-page comic book tracts, and his black and white shockers form the perfrect counterpioint to Kinkade's lust pastorals. Since 1961 he has created 175 proselytizing tracts, which have had more than 500,000,000 copies published in over 100 languages worldwide. Artists Tom Bagley, David R. Drake, Jed Dunkerly, Nathan Eyring, Rod Filbrandt, Cliff Hare, David Lasky, Deborah F Lawrence, Eric Reynolds, Johnny Ryan and Kamilla White have each created work inspired by Chick.

For further information or images contact: David Miller at 206-909-6770 or Posted by Hello
I saw Fahreheit 911 last week, like every other traitor in America. I didn't think it was all that great, but I'm probably just being a grouch. I can't be bothered actually investigating, but I bet one criticism Moore's antagonists have is the film's portrayal of "the sovereign nation of Iraq" before the US invasion, which is an idylic place of smiling children, kittens and laughter, a beacon of joie de vie snuffed by cluster bombs. I doubt Iraq was really as cartoonishly bad as had been propogandized, with prisonsers being fed into shredders and the like, but I really doubt it was the carefree wonderland Moore implies. If one were to review on the street footage of Manhattan in the early morning of September 11, 2001, I'm sure there'd be plenty of miserable wage slaves, hunching their way into their soul-crushing job at the World Trade Center, exhausted at 8 am after their four hour train commute from West Virginia. Let's get a little fucking perspective.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Mike Battaglia explains why cartoonist Joe Matt is a success, and in the process, makes some important points about porn stars and humanity that are worth preserving:

Joe moved to Hollywood last year. Let’s take a peek at the modern Joe Matt; in fact, let’s break his recent action down:

1) Instead of watching porn in some little shit hole in Candada, he’s hanging out in limos with the actual stars themselves in the heart of Los Angeles. Have you met a porn star? They’re not confused and helpless, with no where to turn except into the belly of the beast; no, rather, they are athletic millionaires who have massive egos and are surrounded by a bounty of dutiful hit men and Mafia; it takes balls to hang out with a porn star. They’re like leopards; if they see fear in your eye, it’s all over. Porn stars are all right.
2) He no longer has to contend with the tepid whining of silly, overrated Canadian cartoonists.
3) He’s been ignited by the Hollywood energy (it’s there), and he’s getting a boat load of work done.
4) He finally has the room to breath he has always wished for (smog charges the brain and makes for some glorious sun sets).
5) The memory of the incessant, mind-altering nag-fest that was Trish is long gone, as he receives lap dance after lap dance from women so shockingly beautiful that, for a moment, you can’t believe the human race actually produced such fecal abominations as The Third Reich, the Atomic Bomb, and The Internet.
6) 66 has stopped haunting Joe; he has let his internal Satan/God struggle flail out from the cab of his psychic semi like a naughty hitchhiker.
7) HBO, whose Program Directors wield the most coveted “meeting time” in the business, worth about a million dollars a minute, WANT JOE.
8) His strip in the LA Weekly was an instant classic.
9) Joe is becoming the toast of Hollywood in a town so competitive, even the homeless have head shots and clutch their screenplays as they amble up Sunset Blvd in a cloud of head lice.
10) Joe has a cock the size of a small arm, and he looks like a serial killer (In other words, he’s a porn star in the making). With Joe at THE epicenter of the adult film industry, it won’t be long before we can go out and buy a copy of (choke) “Joe’s Casting Couch”.
11) Now that Joe has come to his senses and removed himself from the chunky, lukewarm bile that is the Canadian aesthetic, he is well on his way to becoming an American icon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Ex-wife says Ryan pushed sex clubs
June 22, 2004


Actress Jeri Ryan accused ex-husband Jack Ryan of insisting she go to "explicit sex clubs" in New York, New Orleans and Paris during their marriage -- including "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling."

Jack Ryan wanted her to have sex with him while others watched, the star of "Boston Public" alleged.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate dismissed his ex-wife's allegations as "ridiculous accusations" and "smut" that she was dishing out without concern about how it would make their young son "feel about his parents or himself."

Those were the key revelations in documents from a 2000 and 2001 child custody battle that a judge ordered unsealed Monday.

A former investment banker, Jack Ryan declined to revisit the allegations Monday, saying he stands by his earlier court response. And Ryan insisted he did not mislead anyone by arguing he was only trying to protect the couple's 9-year-old son and suggesting the documents contained nothing embarrassing.

But at least three GOP leaders are fuming over the disclosures, saying they do not square with what Ryan told them to expect.

State Republican chairman Judy Baar Topinka believes Ryan lied to her by suggesting the papers contained nothing embarrassing, a source close to Topinka said.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar was stunned to hear about Jeri Ryan's allegations after Jack Ryan called Edgar over the weekend to describe the files, but made no mention of the sex clubs. Based on that characterization, Edgar told reporters earlier in the day the files would not likely sink Ryan's campaign.

"Edgar kind of feels like he took this guy at his word and is kind of stunned it could be different from what he was told," the source said.

And Downstate U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) called on Ryan to step down. "I think there's no way the people in Illinois will countenance the type of information and activity he was involved with."

Ryan called the uproar over allegations that he urged his then-wife to have sex in front of others "a new low for politics" during a Tuesday morning appearance on Chicago's WLS-AM. "It seems to me it's just a new standard, and I don't think it's healthy for our democracy."

Ryan said he was fit for high public office, noting that the court documents reveal no violations of earthly or higher laws.

"I think my character has been proven by this," Ryan said in an interview on WBEZ-FM. "There's no breaking of any laws. There's no breaking of any marriage laws. There's no breaking of the Ten Commandments anywhere. And so I think if that's the worst people can say about me in the heat of a difficult dispute I think it speaks very well about my character."

Offered the chance to deny that he visited sex clubs or wanted his wife to have sex in public, Ryan demurred and suggested Jeri Ryan's allegations would have little political traction.

"Well, we were married for almost eight years," he said. "The worst of that was over ... eight years that we went to places that she felt uncomfortable. That's the worst of it.

"If that's the worst, then I think people will say, gosh, that guy's lived a pretty clean life."

During an hourlong news conference at the Chicago Hilton and Towers yesterday, Ryan supplied reporters with copies of the hundreds of pages of documents that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider had just unsealed.

They are part of a child custody battle after the couple's 1999 divorce. Schnider unsealed them after the Chicago Tribune and WLS- argued voters had a right to know what was in the documents.

The Ryans said they were "disturbed and angered" by the decision but decided not to appeal.

"No parent wants the information or disagreements between themsleves put in front of their children," Ryan said Tuesday on WBEZ. "Basic parenting skills say you don't have disagreements that you share with the children. That's why Jeri Lynn and I tried so hard to keep those records sealed."

Ryan released a statement from his ex-wife that made no mention of the sex clubs, but said Jack Ryan never physically abused her or was unfaithful to her -- two allegations that were not in any of the court filings released Monday. "In response to rumors that have been circulating, there was never any physical abuse in our marriage -- either to myself or to our son," Jeri Ryan said in the statement. "Nor, to my knowledge, was he ever unfaithful to me.

"Jack is a good man, a loving father, and he shares a strong bond with our son," Jeri Ryan said. "I wish him all the best, both in his life and career. I have no doubt that he will make an excellent senator."

Jeri Ryan hinted in the papers that she was unfaithful during their marriage, saying she told Ryan shortly before she filed for divorce in 1998 that she had fallen in love with another man "after our relationship had fallen apart." She said Ryan blamed the breakup on her "affair."

Ryan repeatedly refused to discuss the allegations, saying it would further harm their son. He would only refer reporters back to his original court response. "Jeri Lynn and I long ago put these issues behind us," Ryan said. "I'm still sticking to the exact things we said four years ago."

Democrat Barack Obama, Ryan's opponent in the U.S. Senate race, has said he is not interested in the allegations and that he would prefer to stick to issues. Recent polling shows Obama holding a wide lead over Ryan in a state that has been trending Democratic in recent elections.

Ryan said he has no plans to step down, saying "I think we'll be victorious in November."

He said he talked to a number of Republican leaders over the past few days, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and they all continue to support him.

Outgoing GOP Sen. Peter Fitzgerald called Ryan "a good and decent man" and pledged to "support him with enthusiasm and confidence."

But it's unclear what Ryan told the Republican leaders in his calls. He only told Edgar his version about mistakenly wandering into an "avant-garde nightclub" in Paris, the source close to the former governor said.

Topinka is furious and believes Ryan lied to her in an earlier discussion, a source close to the state treasurer said:

"She asked point blank during the conversation whether there was anything embarrassing in there, and he said no."


Declaration of Jeri Ryan, dated June 9, 2000.
I made it clear to [Jack Ryan] that our marriage was over for me in the spring of 1998. On three trips, one to New Orleans, one to New York and one to Paris, [he] insisted that I go to sex clubs with him. These were surprise trips that [he] arranged. They were long weekends, supposed "romantic" getaways.
The clubs in New York and Paris were explicit sex clubs. [He] had done research.

[Jack Ryan] took me to two clubs in New York during the day. One club I refused to go in. It had mattresses in cubicles. The other club he insisted I go to. . . . It was a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling.
[He] wanted me to have sex with him there, with another couple watching. I refused.
[He] asked me to perform a sexual activity upon him, and he specifically asked other people to watch. I was very upset.

We left the club and [he] apologized, said that I was right and he would never insist that I go to a club again. He promised it was out of his system.
Then during a trip to Paris, he took me to a sex club in Paris, without telling me where we were going. I told him I thought it was out of his system. I told him he had promised me we would never go. People were having sex everywhere. I cried, I was physically ill.

[He] became very upset with me, and said it was not a "turn on" for me to cry.
I could not get over the incident, and my loss of any attraction to him as a result.

Response from Jack Ryan.
I should not have to respond to the ridiculous accusations Jeri Lynn makes. . .. I was faithful and loyal to my wife throughout our marriage. I did arrange romantic getaways for us, but that did not include the type of activities she describes. We did go to one avant garde nightclub in Paris which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with. We left and vowed never to return. . .. Apparently, Jeri Lynn did not consider how Alex [their son] will feel about his parents or himself when he learns of this type of smut.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

Copyright © The Sun-Times Company
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Looks like Al Quaida has latched onto a winning game plan for winning the hearts and minds of the American people.

I'm getting sick of conservatives whining about the lack of outrage toward atrocities like this, comparative to the loud, far and wide condemnation of the Abu Ghraib "abuses" (or "torture," as a civilization ought to call it).

Yes, it is outrageous when anyone is killed like this. Al Quaida are murderous douchebags. They should be killed or caught and punished. But I don't have any say over Al Quaida. Al Quaida does not answer to me or anyone else in the United States or most of the civilized world.

Most importantly, Al Quaida does not purport to act in my name. I will not be a party to torture, and by engaging in torture, the United States is making me an accomplice.

Fuck that.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

9-11 plan took twisted path

Infighting, improvisation marked scheme hatched in '99

By Douglas Jehl and David Johnston
The New York Times

WASHINGTON -- In early 1999, Osama bin Laden summoned Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to his well-guarded compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to confide to the lieutenant that his long-discussed proposal to use aircraft as terror weapons against the United States had the full support of al-Qaida.
That meeting, described for the first time by the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, set in motion an extraordinary series of events. But the path from Kandahar to the World Trade Center was anything but a straight line.

Described in vivid detail by two captured al-Qaida operatives who helped plan the attacks, the plot was more troubled and improvisational than had been previously understood.

As late as August 2001, one commission report says, Mohammed fretted about infighting between Mohammed Atta, the mission leader, and a Lebanese pilot, Ziad Jarrah. With his frosted hair and his fondness for Beirut nightclubs, Jarrah seemed so close to choosing a girlfriend over al-Qaida that the plotters scrambled to line up a replacement pilot. But in the end, Jarrah was at the controls of United Flight 93 when it crashed in Pennsylvania.

Of the four al-Qaida operatives first assigned to the plot in 1999, only two ended up among the final 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks. Both of them -- Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- washed out as student pilots, and were relegated to lesser roles. To take their place as pilots, Mohammed turned to other recruits spotted at the camps in Afghanistan.

Atta, the Egyptian pilot who was at the center of the core group, did not join the team until after the plot was well under way. The lineup of hijackers was changing throughout the two years of preparations. Meanwhile, an impatient bin Laden began pressing for an attack as early as 2000, even if it meant using untrained pilots to crash into the ground instead of into buildings.

At the start, though, bin Laden and Mohammed envisioned attacks even more audacious than the one that was ultimately carried out, the report said.

Mohammed, the American-educated Kuwaiti from Pakistan who emerges in the commission's account as a main partner of bin Laden's, at one point planned an attack involving 10 planes. Mohammed wanted to hijack the last plane himself, then kill every man on board and land to deliver an anti-American diatribe.

Another version, scrapped in 2000, envisioned near-simultaneous attacks involving aircraft in Southeast Asia and the United States. Still another, discarded only in the summer of 2001, conceived of a second wave of strikes, following those in Washington and New York, that would target skyscrapers in California and Washington state.

The date of the attacks was not settled until mid-August, the report says, and even in the final days, Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh, another top al-Qaida lieutenant, had not decided whether the fourth plane, the one piloted by Jarrah, should aim at the Capitol or the White House.

"In the end," the report said, "the plot proved sufficiently flexible to adapt and evolve as challenges arose."

Bin Laden listened, but did not commit himself. It was the spring of 1996 when Mohammed described his idea of using airplanes for a terror attack in the United States. He sketched out an aerial suicide plot that seemed to come straight from a 1995 plan by Mohammed and others in Manila, Philippines, to blow up 12 U.S. commercial jets over the Pacific Ocean.

Three years later, at their meeting in Kandahar, bin Laden said the plan had al-Qaida's full support. Mohammed and bin Laden chose an initial list of targets. Bin Laden wanted to hit the White House and the Pentagon. Mohammed wanted to strike the World Trade Center. To that list they added the U.S. Capitol, one commission report said.

Bin Laden quickly supplied Mohammed with four recruits to carry out the scheme, drawing from the thousands of young men who trained in his camps a few especially ardent followers whom bin Laden had singled out for martyrdom missions.

The four men were Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar, Walid Muhammad Salih bin Attash, known as Khallad, and Abu Bara al Taizi. Only Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar stayed with the suicide attacks to the end.

Intensive training began in the fall of 1999. The recruits took part in an elite course at the Mes Aynak camp in Afghanistan. Mohammed, who had attended college in North Carolina, taught the men English phrases, showed them how to read a telephone book, make flight reservations, use the Internet and encode communications. They played flight simulator games and sifted through airline schedules to determine which flights would be in the air at the same time.

At first, Mohammed ordered Khallad and al Taizi to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to study airport security and conduct surveillance of U.S. airlines in preparation for a smaller version of the Manila plot. But bin Laden canceled the Southeast Asia plan. Khallad and al Taizi dropped out; instead, Khallad became the mastermind of the October 2000 attack in Yemen on the Navy destroyer Cole. Al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi were the first hijackers to enter the United States, arriving Jan. 15. 2000.

Separately, in 1999, four other young extremists were making their way from Hamburg, Germany, where they met, to the Afghan camps, as an alternative to an earlier plan to fight against the Russians in Chechnya. The four, Atta, Jarrah, Binalshibh, and Marwan al-Shehhi, seemed ideal for bin Laden: They were Western-educated and held extreme anti-American views. All except Binalshibh would die in the attacks.

In Afghanistan, Atta quickly achieved high status, pledging "bayat" or allegiance to bin Laden, who made him the operation's leader. The two men discussed targets for the attack. One commission report, based on the interrogation of Binalshibh, said the two men identified "the World Trade Center, which represented the U.S. economy; the Pentagon, a symbol of the U.S. military; and the U.S. Capitol, the perceived source of U.S. policy in support of Israel."

By March 2000, the four new al-Qaida recruits were back in Germany researching flight schools. But after learning that pilot training was cheaper and easier in the United States, Atta, al-Shehhi and Jarrah left for the United States. Binalshibh, a Yemeni who tried but failed to enter the country, stayed behind as a link between Mohammed and Atta.

By the fall of 2000, the recruits were training at different aviation schools around the country. But al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, the first two hijackers to enter the country, proved to be poor pilots.

Al-Qaida proved adaptable. In place of the two men, bin Laden's scouts recommended Hani Hanjour, who had studied in the United States and had taken flight training in Arizona. He was chosen for the plot in 2000 after he arrived at the Faruq camp in Afghanistan. That December, Hanjour flew to California to join the plot.

With his arrival, the pilots who seized the four planes used in the attack were all in the United States.

As 2001 dawned, all was not well among the pilots.

Jarrah was headed abroad, on the second and third of what would be five foreign trips in 10 months, to see his girlfriend in Germany and his family in Lebanon. Atta and al-Shehhi also left the United States around the New Year, but it was Jarrah, from a wealthy Lebanese family, who seemed to be having second thoughts about the plot.

The report describes Jarrah as a young man who had "studied at private, Christian schools" in Lebanon and "knew the best nightclubs and discos in Beirut, and partied with fellow students in Germany, even drinking beer -- a clear taboo for any religious Muslim." He was very different from the more pious Atta and other pilots, the report says, and during his months of flight training in the United States, he lived separately from and felt isolated by them.

By late July, when Jarrah headed to Germany again, on a one-way ticket purchased by his girlfriend, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, Mohammed and Binalshibh discussed the possibility of replacing him with another man, Zacarias Moussaoui. Only after an emotional conversation in Germany in early August, in which Binalshibh encouraged him "to see the plan through," did Jarrah return to the United States and the al-Qaida team.

In fits and starts, the final lineup for the attacks began taking shape. At one time or another, at least nine candidate hijackers, all Saudis, had been dropped from the plan, the report says. But by late April, the 15 recruits who would serve in supporting roles in the hijackings had begun arriving in the United States. Most of the men were short in stature, slender in build, and between 20 and 28 years old. They would serve as the "muscle," to subdue the crew and passengers as the others flew the planes.

Still, bin Laden was impatient. As early as 2000, just as the pilots were beginning to arrive in the United States, he had been pressing Mohammed to carry out the attacks, to protest harsh treatment by Israel of the Palestinians. It would be sufficient, the al-Qaida leader told Mohammed, if the planes were just crashed into the ground.

At least twice in 2001, bin Laden encouraged attacks as early as May, but Mohammed deflected those requests, the report says, saying the hijackers needed more time to prepare. Sometime in the summer, Mohammed himself quietly set aside his vision of a "second wave" of attacks, in California and Washington state, that would follow those in the East; he was too busy preparing for the main onslaught.

At a meeting in Spain in mid-July, Atta told Binalshibh that he would need an additional six weeks to carry out those strikes, the report said. Not until mid-August did Atta settle on the Sept. 11 date.

Since 1999, when bin Laden gave the go-ahead to the plot, the target list had been whittled down, albeit after much debate. From Boston, two hijacked planes would strike the World Trade Center, a target long favored by Mohammed. From Dulles airport outside Washington, a third plane would hit the Pentagon, a favorite of bin Laden's.

But what of the Capitol and the White House? Both had been on the preliminary list, and bin Laden preferred the White House, a message conveyed to Atta. But the chief hijacker resisted; in the center of Washington, the White House might be difficult to strike; he wanted to hold the Capitol in reserve.

The fourth aircraft, hijacked after takeoff from Newark, N.J., was headed toward Washington when it was forced down by passengers into the Pennsylvania field. "As late as Sept. 9, two days before the attacks," one commission report says, "the conspirators may still have been uncertain about which Washington target they would strike."

In Afghanistan, some of bin Laden's most senior advisers were anxious, the report says. They were concerned that the attack could provoke an armed American response and would also anger Taliban leaders and the Pakistani government, whose good graces had permitted al-Qaida to use Afghanistan as a refuge. But in a dispute over whether to go forward, bin Laden prevailed.

"In his thinking," the report says, "the more al-Qaida did, the more support it would gain."

Monday, June 14, 2004

Today's theme is...

Statutory rape!

First off, some of the most fucking horrifying shit I have ever seen.

Okay, I can appreciate the siren-like call of young girls. But when one's unholy lust provokes you to fuck around with Photoshop, create something like this...

...then you are either joking, or have a diseased mind.

Luckily, the state of Virginia has a message for you:

That's right. Sex with a minor. Don't go there.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Yeah, the media saturation about Reagan's death is kind of sickening. But I've figured out why. The last president to die did it a decade ago, and that was Richard Nixon. As a nation, we've been desparate to lose a beloved national figure, and I think the last president to die who was even halfway likeable was Eisenhower, just over 35 years ago in 1969. And while I'm too lazy to look, I'm sure the national mourning was nothing to compare with the Kennedy blowout a few years before. Reagan isn't being mourned hysterically because he was beloved; he's being mourned hysterically because he was liked, and dammit, that's good enough these days.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I may be drunk, but tomorrow, I'll still be President of the United States of America.